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Trade Ministry begins nationwide tour on national employment policy, action plan

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By Olimatou Coker

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE) in partnership with German Agency for International Cooperation and Development  (GIZ) Monday started a nationwide tour on  the national employment policy and action plan 2022-2026 and the Labour Act 2023, launched at the governor’s office in Lower River Region.

The day’s regional popularization tour is meant to build up the national employment forum 2024 and engage key stakeholders and popularize the contents of these documents.

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Seedy Lamin Bah, the Governor of Lower River Region, said the gathering is to interact, explain, understand, and perhaps share some common knowledge or new knowledge on the recently developed National Employment Policy and action plan 2022 to 2026 as well as the Labor Act of 2023. “This is apt and relevant and timely especially now that  His Excellency, the President of the Republic has declared to create 150,000 jobs in the country. I think we are on course to achieve that.”

He noted that Gambians are good in terms of designing policies and programs but sometimes  find it difficult to implement. “But now is the time to have that paradigm shift to understand that it is not business as usual. Meaning almost everybody in the country is one way or the other employed. Therefore, it is also relevant that you understand what the National Employment Policy is talking about.

“We may become victims of circumstance and our problems in our workplaces. But how do you address them? If you don’t know what the policy is talking about neither the Labor Act. I think it is very important that we understand what is the Labour Act talking.”

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Fabba Jammeh, the Director of Employment at the Ministry, said it was important that they  go to the regions to popularize the two documents, adding that they are looking at conducting a national employment forum. “So, this activity is in preparation to the national employment forum.”

He said it is not the ministry that will provide the jobs but the ministry provides the employment policy and then the employers, enterprises, industries create the jobs for young people particularly.

Sidate Sanneh, the Deputy  Commissioner of Labour at the Department of Labour, highlighted the importance  of these policy documents.

He said it is important to know your rights and responsibilities as an employee. “Likewise, the employer also should know his rights and responsibilities so that they can work harmoniously on trying to bring about coordination on progress towards the work.”

Ndondey Marong, and Jontang Barrow, participants both spoke on the importance of this new document and how it will help them.

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